Free Library of Philadelphia
1.  Where is Benjamin Franklin buried?
Benjamin Franklin's grave is in the Christ Church burial ground at 5th and Arch Streets. He was buried in April of 1790; the cemetery was bought by Christ Church in 1719. It is said to be lucky to toss a penny on his grave.

Source: Bulletin Almanac and Yearbook, 1976, p.291, 917.481 B87 1976
2.  Where and when was Marian Anderson born?

Marian Anderson was born in Philadelphia on February 27, 1897, and she died in Portland, OR on April 8, 1993. She was an African American contralto opera singer, and she was refused entry to the Philadelphia Music Academy on racial grounds. In 1955 she made her debut in opera at the Metropolitan Opera in New York as Ulrica. She was the first black singer for the Metropolitan Opera of New York.

Source: The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 2001, v.1 p. 615, Stanley Sadie, 780.3 N42G2

3.  Where is John Barrymore buried?

John Barrymore (1882-1942) died at 60 from liver and heart disease. He was originally entombed in block 352, crypt F-3, mausoleum at Calvary Cemetery in East Los Angeles. In December 1980 the casket was removed on orders from his son John Drew Barrymore, cremated, and the ashes taken by him to the Drew-Blythe plot in Mt. Vernon Cemetery in Philadelphia. The grave was unmarked until 1998.

Source: Resting Places: The Burial Sites of Over 7,000 Famous Persons, 2001, p.21, Scott Wilson, 920.02 W697R

4.  What were Benjamin Franklin's last words?
His last words were "A dying man can do nothing easily."

Source: Famous Last Words, 1979, p. 106, Jonathan Green, 080 F271L
5.  Who was the first African American woman elected to a state legislature?

Crystal Bird Fauset (1893-1965), of Philadelphia, was elected to the Pennsylvania state legislature in 1938.

Source: Black Firsts: 4,000 Ground-Breaking and Pioneering Historical Events, 2003, p.262, Jessie Carney Smith, 909.0496 Sm61b

6.  What was the first Methodist church for African Americans established in the northern United States?

Mother Bethel Church, founded in August 1794, was the first Methodist church in the North to be organized by African Americans. It was founded by Richard Allen, a former slave, at 6th and Lombard Street in Philadelphia.

Source: Famous First Facts: A Record of First Happenings, Discoveries, and Inventions in American History, 1997, p.482, Joseph Nathan Kane, 031.02 K132F 5th ED

7.  Who was the Royal Family of the American stage?

The Drew/Barrymore family is considered to be the Royal Family of the American Stage. John Drew (1827-1862) came to America from Dublin early in his life, and he was a prominent actor. He married Louisa Lane (1820-1897) who was a noted character actress. Their careers were associated with the Arch Street Theater in Philadelphia. John Drew (1853-1927), their son, was born in Philadelphia, and he also was an actor working for Augustin Daly’s company in New York. Georgiana (1856-1893), their daughter, was a great comedian and she married Maurice Barrymore, an English actor. They had three children, Lionel, Ethel, and John. Lionel Barrymore (1878-1954) was a character actor, Ethel Barrymore (1879-1959) was an actress, and John Barrymore (1882-1942) was also an actor. John Barrymore is also the grandfather to movie actress Drew Barrymore.

Source: Philadelphia: The Fabulous City of Firsts, 1976, p.31, G. Don Fairbairn, 974.81 F15p, and The Internet Movie Database biography of John Barrymore.

8.  Who was Philadelphia's first regular African American weeknight television news anchor?
That would be Jack Jones, who in 1972 took over WCAU's evening newscast. In 1976 he moved to KYW-TV and then in 1979 to Chicago and WLS-TV. In 1984 he returned to KYW-TV where he stayed until his death in 1991 from pancreatic cancer.

Source: Phila. Inquirer, 03/06/91
9.  What is the nation's oldest female art college in continuous existence?

The Moore College of Art was founded by Sara Worthington Pepter in 1844. In 1921 the College moved to its present location on Logan Square and 20th Street in Philadelphia.

Source: Fairmount Park, a History and Guidebook, 1974, p.111-112, Esther M. Klein, 917.481 K672f

10.  Placed along the axis of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia are three works of art by three generations of the same family. What family is this, and what are the works of art?
The Calder family has works of art by three generations along the axis of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway. Alexander Milne Calder's statue of William Penn tops City Hall. Alexander Stirling Calder's Swann Memorial Fountain is in Logan Circle, while Alexander "Sandy" Calder's mobile "Ghost" is in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Source: Public Art in Philadelphia, 1992, p.74, Penny Balkin Bach, 709.7481 B122P
11.  Who was Octavius Catto (1839-1871)?
A professor at the Institute for Colored Youth(later Cheyney University), he was shot defending the black vote during riots in 1871. He was also famous for desegregating the streetcars, and organizing a black baseball team, the Pythians.

Source: Milestones, 8/91
12.  What Philadelphian, a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Harvard Univ. in 1908, was the first African American to be a Rhodes Scholar?
Alain Locke, who graduated from Central High School at age 15, earned a Litt. D. from Oxford Univ. in 1911. He became a noted author, and was chairman of the philosophy department at Howard Univ. for over 40 years.

Source: FWP. Philadelphia; A Guide to the Nation's Birthplace. 1937, p.201
13.  Why is Hires Root Beer called beer?
Charles Hires first called this beverage tea. Russell Conwell, founder of Temple University pointed out that men would more likely buy it if it was called beer.

Source: Temple Review. Spring 1991. p.23.
14.  What Philadelphian came up with the idea of selling popcorn during entertainments?
Jacob Bersen came up with the idea while working at Philadelphia's Metropolitan Opera House in 1911. The idea caught on, and soon he was selling snacks to many of Philadelphia's theaters.

Source: Temple Reviw. Spring 1991, p.23.
15.  What two Philadelphians first put toilet paper on rolls?
Brothers E. Irvine and Clarence Scott invented the roll of toilet paper in 1879.

Source: Temple Review, Spring 1991, p.24.
16.  Where is Thomas Holmes, William Penn's surveyor, buried?

Captain Thomas Holmes, the first surveyor General of Pennsylvania, is buried near the Pennypack Creek at Crispin Cemetery on Holmes Circle in Northeast Philadelphia.

Source: Fairmount Park, a History and Guidebook, 1974, p.140, Esther M. Klein, 917.481 K672f

17.  What were some of the offices held by James Logan?

Logan, perhaps best known for being William Penn's secretary, was also President of the Provincial Council, Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, and Mayor of Philadelphia. Logan Square, located between 18th and 20th Streets on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, was named for him.

Source: Fairmount Park, a History and Guidebook, 1974, p.153, Esther M. Klein, 917.481 K672f

18.  What Philadelphia resident wrote

Its words were written by Philip Brooks, who at the time was the rector of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church; the organist, Lewis Redner, wrote the music. It was first sung there on December 20, 1868.

Source: Fairmount Park, a History and Guidebook, 1974, p.151, Esther M. Klein, 917.481 K672f

19.  What born and bred Philadelphian wrote the short-story "the Lady or the Tiger"?
Frank Stockton, born in Philadelphia in 1834 and educated at Central High School, wrote "The Lady and the Tiger" as well as many other novels and short stories.

Source: FWP. Philadelphia; A guide to the Nation's Birthplace. 1937, p.194-195.
20.  The Federal Writers' Project book on Philadelphia, titled Philadelphia; A Guide to the Nation's Birthplace," dubs Philadelphia "the City of Scholars." Who are three of these scholars and what are their most famous works??
Horace Furness and Horace Furness Jr. put together the definitive Variorum edition of Shakespeare. S. Austin Allibone compiled the Dictionary of English Literature.

Source: FWP. Philadelphia; A Guide to the Nations Birthplace. 1937, p.198.
21.  Sir Walter Scott's famous novel Ivanhoe contains a female heroine named Rebecca. What famous Philadelphian is this heroine supposedly based on?
Rebecca Gratz,(1781-1869), was famous for her beauty, her wisdom and her virtue. Honored for her extensive charitable works, she was most famous for helping found the Hebrew Sunday School Society and for being the model for Rebecca in Scott's Ivanhoe.

Source: Philadelphia Bulletin Almanc, 1976, p.284.
22.  What else, besides being the model for a character in Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe, and a founder of the Hebrew Sunday School Society, is Rebecca Gratz noted for?
Her home was a gathering place for people such as Washington Irving and Fanny Kemble. She helped found the Female Association for the Relief of Woman and Children, the Philadelphia Orphans Asylum,the Female Hebrew Benevolent Society and other charities.

Source: Notable American Women, 1607-1950, v.1, p.75.
23.  Who was it that first suggested that the United States Mint be built in Philadelphia?

Robert Morris, head of the Finance Department of the federal government, proposed to Congress on January 15, 1782 that the United States Mint be built in Philadelphia. The cornerstone was laid on July 31, 1792, and the construction was completed on September 7.

Source: Famous First Facts About American Politics, 2001, p.114-115, Steven Anzovin, 973 An99f

24.  Comedian W.C. Fields was known for his joke epitaph (it was not on his tombstone)and tag line "On the whole, I'd rather be in Philadelphia." It was meant to mean that only death was worse than living in Philadelphia. Why did he so dislike Philadelphia?
This comedian, who took a dim view of many things (except perhaps alcohol)grew up poor in Philadelphia, and never forgot the privations and indignities of his youth.

Source: Bartlett. Familiar Quotations. 16th ed., 1992, p. 641.
25.  Who were some of the Revolutionary leaders who attended Christ Church?

If you visit Christ Church, you will find markers showing the pews where George Washington, Robert Morris, Benjamin Franklin and Betsy Ross once sat. The church is now a National Shrine.



Source: Philadelphia Bulletin Almanac, 1976, p.293
26.  How did the first Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States, William White, serve his country?
During the Revolutionary period, William White served as Chaplain to both the Continental Congress and to the United States Senate. He is buried in the Chancel of Christ Church.

Source: Philadelphia Bulletin Almanac, 1976, p.293
27.  Where is Betsy Ross, thought to be the maker of the first American flag, buried?

Betsy Ross, or Elizabeth Griscom Ross Ashburn Claypoole (1752-1836), was first buried in the Free Quaker Cemetery at 5th and Locust Streets in Philadelphia. When it was abandoned in 1857, she and her third husband were moved to Mount Moriah Cemetery at 62nd and Kingsessing Avenue. Near the end of 1975 her descendents got a court order to have her disinterred and reburied in the garden of her home at 239 Arch Street.

Source: Resting Places: The Burial Sites of Over 7,000 Famous Persons, 2001, p.319, Scott Wilson, 920.02 W697R

28.  What is the origin of the place name, Roxborough, a part of Northwest Philadelphia?
Our earliest example of its use is in a letter dated 1694 by Johannes Kelpius, which describes his location as where "foxes burrow in the rocks." By 1706 this area was commonly called Roxborough.

Source: Bulletin Almanac and Yearbook, 1976, p.298, 917.481 B87 1976
29.  One of the greatest female jazz singers was born in Philadelphia. Who was she?

Eleanora Harris was born on April 7, 1915 at Philadelphia General Hospital. She would grow up to be Billie Holiday.

Source: Billie Holiday, 1995, p.18, Stuart Nicholson, 784.53 H724N

30.  What Philadelphian is considered the father of American psychiatry?

The Surgeon-General to the Revolutionary Army, Dr. Benjamin Rush invented a "tranquilizing chair" in 1800 for the mentally unstable. He was an advocate of humane treatment for the mentally unwell.

Source: Philly Firsts: The Famous, Infamous, and Quirky of the City of Brotherly Love, 1999, p.83, Janice L. Booker, 974.811 B644P

31.  What Philadelphian wrote the first American textbook on anatomy?
It was written in 1811 by Dr. Casper Wistar, for whom the Wistar Institute is named. Wistar, after his medical education in England, worked in Philadelphia after 1787. He was also a president of the American Philosophical Society.

Source: Philly Firsts: The Famous, Infamous, and Quirky of the City of Brotherly Love, 1999, p.90, Janice L. Booker, 974.811 B644P
32.  Who designed both the tower of City Hall, and then sculpted the statue of William Penn that tops it?
Alexander Milne Calder designed both the statue and the tower. Calder spent 21 years working on this and other statues for the building.

Source: Philadelphia Bulletin Almanac,1976. p. 280
33.  Which two prominent Philadelphia musicians, recording together, are included in "The Smithsonian Collection of Classicial Jazz"?
John Coltrane and McCoy Tyler are included in this collection.

Source: Phila. CultureFest Trivia Quiz Questions
34.  What is Girard College?
Girard Collge was founded by Stephen Girard in 1848 to educate poor white male orphans. The institution, on Girard Avenue between 19th and 25th Streets, still educates underprivileged Philadelphian children of both sexes and all races.

Source: Philadelphia Bulletin Almanac, 1976, p.320
35.  Where was the first documented botanical garden in the United States?
It was naturalist John Bartram's, started in Philadelphia in about 1728. His house, with a garden, still stands at 54th Street and Eastwick Avenue.

Source: Philadelphia Bulletin Almanac, 1976, p.330
36.  Who were the first four regular conductors for the Philadelphia Orchestra?

Fritz Scheel was the first conductor in 1899. Karl Pohlig was the second conductor in 1907, he resigned June 10, 1912. Leopold Stokowski was the third conductor until 1936. Eugene Ormandy was the fourth.

Source: Those Fabulous Philadelphians: The Life and Times of a Great Orchestra, 1969, p.15-16, 26-29, 100, 112, Herbert Kupferberg, 785 P53ZK

37.  What was the original name of Fort Mifflin?
When the building of Fort Mifflin began in 1772, it was called Fort Mud. During the Revolution General Thomas Mifflin saw to its completion, and it was renamed in his honor. It is located on the Delaware River just below the mouth of the Schuylkill.

Source: Philadelphia Bulletin Almanac, 1976, p.383
38.  Where in The United States was the first church for Italian-speaking people founded?
It was founded in South Philadelphia in 1852 by Bishop John Newmann, and is called St. Magdalene de Pazzi Roman Catholic Church.

Source: Philadelphia Bulletin Almanac, 1976, p 392
39.  Where was the birthplace of The Noble Order of the Knights of Labor, the first labor union to admit workingmen who were not craft workmen?
It was in Philadelphia, in 1869, and under the aegis of local journalist and novelist George Lippard.

Source: Philadelphia Bulletin Almanac, 1976, p. 411
40.  Who wrote the song "Oh! Dem Golden Slippers," heard every year at the Mummer's Parade in Philadelphia?
"Oh! Dem Golden Slippers" was written in 1879 by an African American named James A. Bland. It was played in the Mummers' Parade in 1905. It is still played in Mummers' Parades to this day, and the rhythm and harmony lends itself to the dancing of the Golden Slipper, or Mummers' Strut.

Source: Oh! Dem Golden Slippers, 1970, p.115, Charles E. Welch, 394.5 P53W
41.  What are the origins of Richard Allen, founder of the Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church?
Born in 1760, he was a slave to the Chew family in Germantown till he bought his freedom at 22. He became a minister and in 1787 led a walkout from St. Georges Methodist Church, which was the start of the founding of the first African American church.

Source: Philadelphia Bulletin Almanac, 1976, p.576
42.  Besides Carpenters' Hall, what else did Robert Smith design in Philadelphia?

Besides Carpenters’ Hall, Robert Smith designed the Christ Church steeple and St. Peter’s Church located at 3rd and Pine Streets.

Source: Philadelphia Architecture: A Guide to the City, 1994, p.26, 142, John Andrew Gallery, 720.9748 P53A

43.  What was the first modern skyscraper in Philadelphia?
It was the PSFS Building, designed by George Howe and William Lecaze, and then constructed by the Philadelphia Saving Fund Society in 1932. Standing at 12th and Market Streets, it rose 36-stories high, and was topped by a lighted sign reading PSFS.

Source: Philadelphia Inq., 12/12/1992
44.  Where in Philadelphia was there a film studio which produced more than 2,500 films?
That would be the Lubin Manufacturing Company at 20th Street and Indiana Avenue. The Lubin studio, run by Siegmund Lubin, was most active from 1910-1914, and it produced westerns, dramas, comedies, documentaries and educational films.

Source: Philadelphia Inq., 05/05/2995
45.  Who is the African American who was on the team assembled by Horace Trumbauer to design the Philadelphia Museum of Art?
Julian Abele, the first African American graduate in architecture from the University of Pennsylvania (class of 02), worked for Trumbauer on the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The firm's plans were accepted by the Fairmont Park Commission in 1917.

Source: Germantown Courier, 02/11/1998
46.  What is Mom Rinker's Rock?

During the American Revolution Molly Rinker would knit atop this rock in what is now Fairmount Park. She would often drop a ball of yarn in which was a coded message for our troops. This rock is now marked by a statue of a Quaker, which bears the message Toleration.

Source: Mount Airy in Philadelphia, 1979, p.3, Phyllis Knapp Thomas, 974.811 T366m

47.  What is America's oldest continuously-published, African American newspaper?
The Philadelphia Tribune wins that honor, having been started in 1884 by James Perry, who served as editor, publisher, staff and deliverer.

Source: New York Times, 11/08/1984
48.  What Philadelphia University owns "The Gross Clinic", a painting by Thomas Eakins of Dr. Samuel David Gross in surgery?

The painting, considered today to be a masterpiece, is now owned by Thomas Jefferson University. It was considered too graphic to be hung with the fine art during the Centennial Exhibition, so instead it was allocated to the U.S. Army Post Hospital Exhibit.

Source: Philadelphia Almanac and Citizen's Manual, 1995, p.19, Kenneth Finkel, 974.811 P53AA

49.  Where is the original manuscript to James' Joyce's Ulysses?

Dr. A.S.W. Rosenbach of Philadephia bought Ulysses in 1924 for $1,975. It is now part of the collection of the Rosenbach Museum and Library located at 2010 Delancey Street.

Source: Philadelphia Almanac and Citizen's Manual, 1995, p.19, Kenneth Finkel, 974.811 P53AA

50.  Who were the past students of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts who were members of the " Eight", a realist art movement from the early years of the 20th-century?
They were Robert Henri, William Glackens; John Sloan, George Luks and Everett Shinn.

Source: Philadelphia Almanac and Citizen's Manual, 1995, p.20, Kenneth Finkel, 974.811 P53AA
51.  What was the first non-German textile mill in Germantown?

The first non-German textile mill in Germantown was built by William Logan Fisher on Wingohocking Creek in 1809.

Source: Workshop of the World: A Selective Guide to the Industrial Archeology of Philadelphia, 1990, p.3:4, The Oliver Evans Chapter of The Society for Industrial Archeology, 900 W892o

52.  Who was the first African American to attend the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, France?
When Julian Abele ended his university studies, Horace Trumbauer, head of an architectural firm in Philadelphia, payed for Abele to attend the prestigious school for four years. Abele then became chief designer at Trumbauer's firm.

Source: Philadelphia Inq., 03/27/1982
53.  Where and when was Julian Abele born?
He was born in South Philadelphia in 1881 and died in 1950. Buildings he helped design include the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Philadelphia Free Library, The Widener Library at Harvard University and campus buildings at Duke University.

Source: Philadelphia Inq. 03/27/2000, B1-2
54.  How did Lemon Hill in Fairmount Park acquire its name?
18th-century financier Robert Morris owned a country estate there which he called "The Hills" . In a greenhouse on the grounds he grew lemons and oranges, hence the name "Lemon Hill."

Source: Fairmount Park, a History and Guidebook, 1974, p.13, Esther M. Klein, 917.481 K672f
55.  Who designed the first Fairmount Water Works?
Frederick Graff designed the first stage of the Fairmount Water Works, which was built between 1812 and 1815.

Source: Fairmount Park, a History and Guidebook, 1974, p.17, Esther M. Klein, 917.481 K672f
56.  Who were the founders of the Tasty Baking Company in Philadelphia?

The Tasty Baking Company was formed in 1914 by Philip J. Bauer and Herbert Morris. By 1922 the company was such a success that they acquired a new headquarters at 2801 Hunting Park Avenue in the Nicetown section of Philadelphia.

Source: Workshop of the World: A Selective Guide to the Industrial Archeology of Philadelphia, 1990, p.12:12, The Oliver Evans Chapter of The Society for Industrial Archeology, 900 W892o

57.  What Director of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts was forced to resign beacause he approved the use of a male nude model for a female art class?
Thomas Eakins, famous painter and sculptor, was forced to resign from the Academy for this reason in 1886.

Source: Adams, Henry. Eakins Revealed; The Secret Like of an American Artist. Oxford UP, 2005. pp. 49-59 759.13 EA52A
58.  When was Frank Rizzo mayor of Philadelphia?
Frank Rizzo served two consecutive terms as mayor of Philadelphia, from 1972 to 1980.

Source: Smart, James. Historic Philadelphia. San Antonio: Historical Publication Network, 2001. p. 121 974.811 SM28H
59.  In what historic graveyard is Rebecca Gratz (1781-1869), famous educator and philanthropist, buried?
Rebecca Gratz is buried in the Mikveh Israel Cemetery.

Source: Ashton, Dianne. Rebecca Gratz: Women and Judaism in Antebellum America. Detroit: Wayne State UP, 1997. 917.4811 G774A
60.  Who was the only Philadelphia mayor to experience an assassination attempt?

On May 3, 1843, Mayor John M. Scott was in his office when Adalberte Benedictis Ptolemeis, a homeless man, entered and demanded the mayor give him a job as an Italian and geometry teacher. When the request was denied Ptolemeis shot Scott in the back. Scott only suffered a bruise as the bullet was stopped by the webbing of his silk suspenders.

Source: Finkel, Kenneth. Philadelphia Almanac and Citizen's Manual. Philadelphia: Library Company of Philadelphia, 1995. p. 137.